From starring on hit television series and critically acclaimed films, to releasing #1 albums and touring the country with the biggest superstars in music, actor and three-time Grammy nominated singer/songwriter Luke James has become one of the most watched multi-hyphenate talents in the entertainment industry today.
This year James can be seen starring on the critically acclaimed Showtime drama series “The Chi”. Created by Emmy Award winner Lena Waithe and produced by the Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning artist Common, the series follows the lives of a group of people in the South Side neighborhood of Chicago. James joined the cast in season three as newcomer Victor “Trig” Taylor, Jake’s (Michael V. Epps) estranged older brother, and was immediately a scene stealer and promoted to a series regular for the fourth season. Season four of “The Chi” recently aired on Showtime.
On stage, James can next be seen starring in Keenan Scott II’s play Thoughts of a Colored Man at Broadway’s Golden Theatre, opening Sunday, October 31st. The limited engagement will be the first new play to open on Broadway, following a near two-year shutdown due to COVID-19. Additionally, James recently recurred opposite Academy Award nominated actress Cynthia Erivo in “Genius: Aretha,” National Geographic’s critically acclaimed anthology series exploring Aretha Franklin’s musical genius and incomparable career. James portrayed Franklin’s ex-husband Glynn Turman, a well-known actor, writer, director and producer who coached Franklin prior to their romantic involvement and marriage.
Additional acting credits for James include: starring on the hit FOX/Lee Daniels musical drama series “Star,” HBO’s “Insecure,” USA’s “Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G.,” and his role as R&B singer Johnny Gill on BET’s “The New Edition Story,” which drew in record ratings of 29M+ viewers during premiere week. James can also be heard in “Hold Still, Vincent” the Gemma Chan-produced podcast for QCODE about the 1982 murder of Vincent Chin. On the film front James appeared in the smash hit Universal Pictures comedy, Little, opposite Issa Rae, Regina Hall and Marsai Martin.
In music, James released his breakout independent album, to feel love/d, in January 2020 which is his most intimate, poetic and vulnerable piece of work to date. The album garnered a 2021 Grammy nomination for Best R&B Album alongside John Legend, Gregory Porter, Ant Clemons, and Giveon. As James’ first fully independent musical release, to feel love/d was the only indie album to be nominated in the category and marks the second Grammy nomination of James’ career. Bringing James back to his R&B roots, to feel love/d features euphoric yet provocative lyrics mixed with awe-inspiring, unparalleled vocal talent. He pulled out all the stops with massive collaborations on the record, teaming up with Lucky Daye, Big K.R.I.T., BJ the Chicago Kid, Kirk Franklin and Ro James, as well as production from powerhouse producers Danja, Cobaine Ivory, Guitarboy and Sir Dylan. Touted as “rich in sound and content” and “some of the most soulful performances you’ll hear today” by the media, James returned to the music scene in full force with some of his most dynamic and meaningful work yet.
Born and raised in New Orleans, James was immersed in the rich musical heritage of the city at an early age, even taking up the saxophone for a number of years. As a child, he was heavily influenced by an array of artists, from Marvin Gaye and Aretha Franklin to Miles Davis and D’Angelo. It was after seeing D’Angelo in concert at age 11 that James decided to pursue music as his career path. He got his start professionally singing background for Tyrese and went on to write for top artists including Justin Bieber, Chris Brown and Snoh Alegra, to name a few. As James expanded his solo career, he went on to perform alongside the late Prince and open for Beyoncé’s Mrs. Carter Show World Tour. In 2012, he received his first Grammy nomination for Best R&B Performance for his hit song “I Want You” from his first mixtape #Luke, and received his second Grammy nomination in 2015 for Best R&B Song: “Options” ft. Rick Ross, from his self- titled debut album Luke James.
James is currently based in Atlanta, Georgia, where he is hard at work on his multitude of projects.